An Urban Institute study of Kentucky’s landmark youth justice reform law passed in 2014 found that nearly nine out of 10 youth completed diversion programs and avoided formal court involvement. Nevertheless, race and ethnic disparities in the diversion programs were “significant and persisted,” and recidivism rates didn’t statistically change.
A judge is yet to decide whether the trial of four ex-police officers charged in George Floyd’s death may be televised. Supporters of audio and visual coverage say the high-profile nature of Floyd’s death, the outrage that led to protests, and courtroom restrictions caused by the pandemic make this the right time to allow cameras in court.
“Our nation has lost a jurist of historic stature,” said Chief Justice John Roberts about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died at 87. President Donald Trump is expected to try for Senate approval of a replacement who would tilt the court further to the right.
The court stopped live broadcasts of Philadelphia criminal trials after District Attorney Larry Krasner argued that the COVID-19 procedure opened a new window for harassment of witnesses, victims and defendants.
Official misconduct contributed to the false criminal convictions of more than 50 percent of innocent people who were later exonerated, according to a report from the National Registry of Exonerations.
One study found that defendants whose bail hearings were conducted remotely had much higher bond amounts set by judges. Meanwhile, some federal and state courts are allowing in-person proceedings to resume under COVID-19 guidelines.